13 Reasons to Refresh Your National Do-Not-Call List Responsibilities

I receive a lot of questions from REALTORS® on a variety of federal law topics. A lot. Nine times out of ten, the question relates to Canada’s anti-money laundering laws (a.k.a. Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada, or FINTRAC, regime).

While I’m happy to assist, the sheer number of FINTRAC regime-related questions, along with the numerous articles online about money laundering in the news, can skew one’s perspective as to the regulatory challenges members face from several directions.

Out of curiosity, I recently took a peek at the number of administrative monetary penalties (or AMPs for short, but for simplicity I’ll simply refer to them as “fines”) that FINTRAC imposed against brokerages and salespersons in 2023. Then, I compared the results to the number of fines the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) imposed for violating another federal law: Canada’s National Do Not Call List (DNCL). I found the results surprising.

According to FINTRAC’s website, $214,665 worth of fines were imposed against two brokerages in 2023. In contrast, $340,250 worth of fines were imposed against 13 brokerages for violating the National DNCL. Yikes. Keep in mind, these numbers are just for one calendar year.

So, what’s the lesson here? I hope no one is saying to themselves they can now safely ignore Canada’s anti-money laws without fear of repercussions because the CRTC imposed more fines.

Rather, I think these fines reinforce that even though relatively old and static laws, like the National DNCL, may not be as topical or headline grabbing these days (at least in comparison to FINTRAC), violating the law can have real consequences. It pays for REALTORS® to do their homework ahead of time before implementing their marketing strategies so they’re aware of the risks and their obligations.

CREA has several resources on its Member Portal to help REALTORS® stay compliant. For example, if you’re interested in conducting telemarketing, you can find out information concerning the National DNCL, including frequently asked questions. . Other resources include three former CREA Café blogs I wrote that discuss:

Reading. Ugh. Boring. I know. So, here’s a trick: next time you question whether a bit of research is worth it, say “$340,250” out loud thirteen times. It may just give you that additional perspective you need.

Simon Parham is General Counsel and Corporate Secretary at the Canadian Real Estate Association. He has expertise in a variety of federal laws and issues, including anti-money laundering and privacy law. Prior to joining CREA, Simon worked as counsel for the Department of Justice, where he provided legal advice to the Department of National Defence.

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